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How Long Does Bankruptcy Take from Start to Finish?

Posted on Jun 22, 2012 in Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Information, Bankruptcy procedures

Every bankruptcy can take a different amount of time, but for each chapter of bankruptcy, we can usually give a very good guess for how long our clients will be in the process.

In a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, from the time we file the petition and schedules with the court, the usual time to reach the Creditor’s Meeting (or 341 meeting) is about 30-45 days.  From then, assuming our clients have no assets to be sold and divided among the creditors, they will take their second counseling session (debtor education or financial management), we will file the certificate, and there will be a discharge of the debts in 60-90 days from the creditor’s meeting.  Even if there are assets, the case can proceed to a discharge in the same time period, but the case will stay open while the asset (a car, cash in a bank account, a house) will be sold and the creditors get paid.

The other chapters require a payment plan.  So beyond the creditor’s meetings, the goal is to create a plan to pay creditors back over three to five years.  The bankruptcy doesn’t have to last this long if the creditors can be paid back faster, but this is the general timeframe we have.  The plans cannot last for longer than five years.


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